Black Jack is a game that has seen it all, it’s a casino game that started out as little more than a card game to pass the time in social circles. But in just a few hundred years Black Jack has grown into one of the most popular casino games in the world. You don’t need to be a casino shark, a card playing genius or a mathematician to learn, play and win at Black Jack. The goal is simple, get a hand to beat the dealer without going over 21, if you beat the dealer you take the money.
Preparing for your first round of Black Jack
Typically you don’t want to break your bankroll so you will want to find a table with limits that suit your current bankroll of casino money. Also make sure you know what rules the dealer has to abide by, for example “the dealer must stand on 17 and up” means that the dealer will continue to draw new cards until he reaches at least 17.
All numbered cards in Black Jack have the same value as their number (2-10) and the jack, queen and king are also 10 but the ace is both a 1 and an 11. The ace is capable of changing its value to adapt to the hand in play – a hand where the ace is worth 11 is called a “soft hand”. A soft hand can’t go over 21 and bust because the ace will change its value to 1 in case the value of the hand goes above 21. Any hand where the ace isn’t in the hand or is worth 1 will be a normal hard hand that you should never take any unnecessary risks with.
Playing your first round of Black Jack
Place your bet and the first round begins, the dealer will be dealt 2 cards one is face down and one is face up and you will be dealt 2 cards both face up. If the dealer shows an ace on the face up card, you can buy what’s called Insurance that protects you against the dealer getting a black jack with the face down card. Insurance costs 50% of your current bet and will award you with 2x your bet if the dealer gets a black jack. If the dealer doesn’t get black jack however your insurance is lost but the hand is continued.
Another option which isn’t really much of an option and doesn’t exist on all Black jack tables is Surrender, something you can only do while still on your first deal. If you surrender you typically get 50% of your bet back, but in the long run this will lead to a greater losses than gains.
Time to choose your move
Since the goal of Black Jack is to get a better hand then the dealer, you will need to improve your hand by taking a new card. Hit doesn’t cost any additional bet so you can Hit as many times as you want as long as your hand stays on or below 21.
Once you have a hand that you want to use in a showdown with the dealer, you choose Stand and find out if your hand beats the dealer.
This is a combination of hit and stand with the addition of doubling your bet, when you Double Down you start with doubling your bet before you draw another card and stand. You will stand on your new hand regardless if you are happy with it or not.
When your hand consists of two identical cards like two queens, you can split your hand into two hands by adding a new bet on your new hand. Both hands will be played individually and can split again for as long as your cash and cards allow it.
Time for the Showdown, where you will find out if you win or lose. If your first two cards gave you 21 you just got Black jack and you win 1.5x your bet unless the dealer also turns up Black Jack. If your hand is better than the dealers or if the dealer busts by going above 21, you win 1x your bet.